Exploring The Relationship Between Joy And Finances: Dopamine

Jan 31, 2024Guidance, Personal Finance

There’s a strong correlation between money and happiness . Unfortunately, it is a reality that has an impact on our overall contentment. In fact, financial matters are a common cause of divorce, with 22% percent couples citing their finances as the reason behind their divorce according to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts.

Rather than exploring how money can make someone unhappy, let’s look at how your finances can bring you joy. Contrary to what many people think, when managed with the right mindset, money can be the ultimate source of joy and happy feelings. There are major happiness chemicals in your brain and money can impact them.

The Neurotransmitter Dopamine

Today, the focus will be on dopamine, otherwise known as the “feel-good” hormone. It is a chemical neurotransmitter that serves as an incentive system for the brain, greatly influencing our enjoyment and the capacity to think, plan, learn, concentrate, and be captivated.

This particular neurotransmitter has become a subject of interest for many researchers and scientists as it is known to play a role in a wide variety of bodily functions and processes. Much of the research conducted on dopamine has focused on how it affects behavior, cognition, and emotions. It has been found to be involved in the regulation of movement, pleasure, motivation, reward, and learning. Additionally, it has been implicated in mood disorders, addiction, and other neurological diseases. All of these aspects of dopamine make it a fascinating area of study and a highly important neurochemical.

Utilizing Money To Stimulate Dopamine Release

Achieving a goal releases dopamine, which explains why when you reach success such as a promotion, a vacation, or a personal record in running, you feel joy. This usually happens without conscious effort, but it’s important to recognize that planning and completing objectives can bring happiness.

Do finances and financial planning create the same dopamine release? It certainly can. Think about when you have anxiety about saving for a financial goal, and then when you finally reach that goal and the feeling of relief and success that you have at that time. Money, planning, and goals are able to stimulate the happiness-inducing dopamine. To get the most out of this effect, set both long-term objectives and short-term mini-goals.

There are additional ways you can utilize your money to bring in that dopamine. For example – here’s something you should know: quality sleep is essential for releasing and preventing dopamine production. If you have a bit of spare cash, why not invest it in something that improves your sleep? A new pillow, a plush comforter or even a new mattress may improve your sleep quality and your dopamine production.

Your money can help you to improve your dopamine by improving your mental and physical health. Yoga and meditation are wonderful, natural methods to increase dopamine levels. Join a class and experience the numerous advantages. Bonus: invite a buddy and then treat yourselves to a healthy and funny lunch after. Research has indicated that these activities can lead to a surge in dopamine, however, they do come with a price.

In contrast, stress has a very detrimental effect on dopamine production. What can we do to alleviate stress with money? If you consider it, there are approximately one million options. Examples include taking a vacation, participating in an activity you love, treating yourself to a massage, going out on a date with your partner, or anything else which lowers your stress levels. All of the aforementioned activities help to stimulate the release of dopamine.

With any luck, you have discovered some of the abundant ways to transform your relationship with your finances and your joy. Money can be a huge aid to optimizing your dopamine. It requires planning and consideration. In this regard, connecting with a well-informed financial planner can assist you in understanding what is and isn’t within your plan while still keeping it all in perspective.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, legal, or retirement advice or recommendations. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances. These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable — we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2021.